The CeFi crypto lender faced a large fine spearheaded by the SEC this year and weathered the harsh crypto winter to come in as Inc. magazine’s No. 1 revenue gainer.
Inc. magazine has named BlockFi the fastest growing company in the United States in 2022. At the top of the magazine’s Inc. 5000 2022 list, it experienced 245,616% growth, a lead of more than 99,000% over the second-place company, a platform for hiring nurses. The median growth rate was 230% across all 5,000 entries.
The Inc. list “ranks companies by overall revenue growth over a three-year period,” according to the magazine. In the fast-moving world of crypto, three years is practically an epoch, and BlockFi’s achievement is especially notable after a number of dramatic turns for the company and the industry this year.
A companion article in Inc. noted that CeFi crypto financial services company BlockFi started the year as a unicorn in talks with JPMorgan about going public. The $100 million fine the company paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. states in February for alleged unregistered securities sales was hailed as at least partially good news, as it set the company on course to create the first SEC-regulated crypto product from their BlockFi Interest Account.
But BlockFi had lost its unicorn status by midyear, pulled down by the incipient crypto winter. It laid off 20% of its 850 staff members just after Celsius froze withdrawals, although BlockFi cofounder Flori Marquez insisted to Inc. that the layoff was planned and the timing was coincidental. She and cofounder Zac Prince had called the decision “gut wrenching” at the time.
BlockFi announced a $250 million loan deal with FTX US in July, and that deal was quickly upgraded to a $400-million revolving credit facility with an option to acquire BlockFi “at a variable price of up to $240 million.”
To be considered for the Inc. 5000 list, a company has to file an application and pay a fee, which ranged from $195 to $245 this year, depending on the date the application was submitted.